This is going to be a campaign where the characters will be experienced and tough, but will probably be significantly out of their element. They won’t start with access to any of their starting gear, and should not count on getting access to exactly the gear they might want. To represent this, the basic character creation is modified as follows
- Characters will begin the game with 30XP. They should first choose their first two careers. These can be freely chosen as normal for the IK rules. They should apply the XP as normal to these two careers except for the bonuses they would receive at 30XP. Instead, if they already have a career from the following list: Thief, Spy, Cutthroat, or Pugilist, they can apply the XP as normal, but if they choose a new career, they must choose one from the list above, representing their time in The Cage. If not, they MUST choose a third career and it must be from the above list. The +2 Occupational skills for a new career apply as normal
- NONE of the starting gear for any character will be in their posession. Each character can choose one weapon from the following list: Dagger (shiv), Hand Axe, Club. No armor is available to begin with. All magic wielding characters were permanently fitted with “Agony Chains”, devices that make magic use significantly more difficult, and extremely painful to use. If you plan on playing a magic using character, let me know and I will get the in game effects and a more detailed description of them to you. This will place all characters at a significant disadvantage over typical characters at this XP level. One of the primary themes of the story is struggling to scrape up what is needed for survival.
The Cage is a truly monumental structure. The outer wall rises 60’ above the mountainous cliff faces it emerges from. The inmate housing is on the top four floors of the inner keep building. This rectangular building surrounds a central courtyard, where inmates receive exercise and fresh air when not in their cells or working in the mines below the fortress. Huge iron bound doors seal the outer wall and a heavy gate blocks egress from the central courtyard of the inner keep area. Years ago heavily modified labor jacks patrolled the perimeter of the inner keep, guarded the outer doors, and kept the courtyard population quiet. Now, the jacks are rarely if ever seen. The lower floors of the inner keep are/were occupied by the Cage guards, and all of their necessary space. The gaping maw of the coal mines lies at the center of the courtyard. Heavy metal scaffolding cover it from the elements, and the courtyard is cluttered with numerous pairs of rails used to move coal out of the mines. The coal is stored outside of the central keep.
It is now day two since the guards made their last rounds and nearly a week since any inmates were sent into the mines. Inmates have muttered increasingly loudly that it has been too long since the last shipment of food and consumables, and that their rations have become too scant. Now it appears that the guards are not even entering the cell blocks and a few of the inmates have become crazy with hunger and fear.